HP PSC 2410 Photosmart All-In-One – Part Two

HP PSC 2410 Photosmart All-In-One — Review — Part Two

with help from David Weeks


HP PSC 2410 Photosmart All-In-One Print/Scan/Copy/Fax Machine
(Second of two parts — see part one, complete with extensive Article Discussion thread here)
Company: Hewlett-Packard Company
Price: $300 US

Info and specs here:

or by going to HP.com and doing a search for: PSC 2410

This second-of-two-parts review concentrates on using PSC 2140 as a standalone multi-card-slot photo printer. Our first observation was no LED adjacent to the card slot region, for verification of complete card insertion. Instead, the computer serves as interface coordinator (for lack of a clearer description), and the printer’s color graphics display (CGD) gets into the act from time to time. More on that soon.

Using HP’s usually-comprehensive printed booklet, we weren’t certain which instructions apply to a PC and which ones relate to the Macintosh. A little editorial clarification will help, please.

HP’s new CGD has decent slide show capability with acceptable quality for such a tiny screen. David says “the small thumbnail-quality screen is adequate to the task” of previewing images, and I agree. We used it to print our proof sheets efficiently but not quickly, because direct printing with PSC 2410 suffers the same slow, jerky output process I encountered during routine printing from computer-based documents.

Proof sheet quality on ordinary paper is “C rating,” or nothing special, neither terrific nor horrible, but once a proof sheet is finished, several unusual opportunities become available. Proof sheets can be used to create picture packages (not too different from Photoshop or Elements), or to instruct PSC 2410 which images to print directly. A pen fill-in space is provided on the proof sheet, just like on 1960’s standardized tests. Deja vu all over again.

If you don’t use PSC frequently, head cleaning (easy to accomplish, but wastes valuable ink) is required for accurate proof sheets and other printouts.

HP’s full-service direct-print software (for better or worse) takes the computer offline when accessing images via the color graphics display. Apple’s Image Capture is then launched in a confusing, undocumented sequence that continues to baffle us. We got used to being bossed around by HP, but again, improved documentation will help.

Direct media card printing provides a large range of built-in possibilities covered on pages 26 and 27 in the manual, which is very good in this regard. What PSC does best (top-quality printing) it does great, but be aware of inherent glitches and bugs that become less annoying with continued use and darn good results.

A few annoyances:

HP’s uninstaller doesn’t work, when you need to remove any or all of the bundled software.

Their “driver removal,” which happens when you switch from computer-driven to printer-driven printing, is a pain.

Fast user switching is not supported. Why not?

Because media card access is a major selling point for PSC 2410, we’re not going to recommend this product for that purpose, due to inconsistent interface and incomplete documentation. Once your prints emerge, you’ll be happy with the unit, in spite of its expensive cartridges.

Nearly a thousand dollars of advanced hardware technology and semi-integrated software is included for a modest price of $300 with HP’s Printer-Scanner-Copier-Faxer 2410. We applaud HP for ingenuity and a comprehensive approach to consumer and small office equipment.

Faxing was not tested, because Tim Robertson, MyMac.com publisher, evaluated almost identical fax software features, near the bottom of his review of the OfficeJet 5510.

We also decided not to investigate the creative applications bundled with PSC 2410. They are not major selling points, and most users won’t take advantage of them, but MyMac.com will dig a little deeper in that direction with our next review of a multifunction HP.

Deciding on an overall MyMac.com rating for this product is tricky, because it does some things well and others less so. If your requirements are modest, or your tolerance for techie inconsistencies is high, or you actually use all the hardware and software this machine offers and you don’t mind pouring your paycheck into HP’s proprietary ink downspout, you’ll consider PSC 2410 worthy at 4 out of 5. Many users will agree with David and me that a strong 3 out of 5 is closer to the mark.

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